Selecting an ideal commercial freight carrier for your business can be essential to its success, ensuring products arrive on time, safely, and efficiently. Research has revealed that an astonishing 84% of customers will not make repeat purchases from brands that provide an unpleasant shipping experience, underscoring its pivotal importance in customer retention and satisfaction and reinforcing why selecting an efficient shipping provider should be one of your business priorities.
As there are so many shipping providers to choose from, sifting through them all to find one that satisfies your shipping needs can be challenging. As part of our efforts to help make informed decisions about who best fulfills those needs, we have prepared this detailed guide on what to look for in a shipping provider.
So let’s dive in and uncover what qualities can make for successful transportation providers!
1. Delivery speed
Today’s fast-paced world makes speed an integral factor when purchasing products online. Study results reveal that 42% of consumers prefer same-day delivery and are willing to pay extra in order to have their items sooner. Therefore, to remain competitive in today’s online business world and foster long-term success, keeping pace with this trend and offering prompt deliveries are crucial elements for sustained success.
Conduct adequate research before deciding on a provider with fast delivery times. Comparing estimated delivery times across carriers will enable you to make an informed decision that meets the unique requirements of your business and select an ideal carrier that matches them perfectly.
Considerations should also be given to whether the carrier offers on-time deliveries and customer support in case any issues or delays occur. Reading reviews from businesses that have used them will provide invaluable insight in this regard.
2. Delivery range
Selecting an appropriate commercial freight shipping service for your business is important, and one key aspect that needs to be considered before choosing one is delivery range. You should confirm with any shipping provider you select that they can reach all destinations you require for product deliveries.
For example, finding an economical yet dependable carrier should be top of mind if your business primarily ships domestically. But for businesses offering international shipping options, they will require carriers who possess this specific ability.
Delivery range should also depend on a carrier’s service area and ability to reach specific areas or remote or underdeveloped locales. It is better to ask the providers about their area limitations before making an informed decision when choosing them as an absolute priority.
3. Tracking capability
Tracking capabilities should always be prioritized when searching for an ideal shipping provider, since real-time tracking helps customers remain up-to-date about the status of their orders and increases overall satisfaction with the services.
Reputable shipping providers typically provide various tracking options—email updates, online tracking portals, or mobile applications—that enable you to monitor the progress of your shipment while receiving alerts in case of delays or issues and tracking its delivery status once it reaches its final destination.
4. Delivery costs
The next critical thing to consider in a shipping provider is their delivery costs. Shipping expenses could compromise profits, so selecting a provider with clear pricing policies and competitive offerings is essential to staying profitable.
When comparing delivery costs, it’s essential to factor in all elements that could inevitably affect their final expenses, such as shipment dimensions and distance, as well as any additional services or requirements. Furthermore, inquire into any applicable taxes or fees as well as possible pricing incentives or discounts, such as volume discounts.
Reputable shipping providers offer detailed cost breakdowns and are transparent about their pricing policies. However, consider that slightly higher delivery costs might be worth paying if they provide exceptional value, like advanced tracking options, reliable service, or outstanding customer support. It is, therefore, essential not to base your decision solely on cost but to consider all aspects of value when choosing between providers.
5. Types of products
When selecting a carrier, it is essential to take the nature and content of the products being transported into account, along with whether their experience and expertise can meet them.
For instance, when shipping hazardous items, you should choose a carrier that has both certification and licensing to transport these materials safely. Furthermore, for perishable items, it’s imperative that a company with refrigerated or temperature-controlled equipment manages your shipment.
Be sure to interview all potential carriers carefully when considering them as carriers for your specific products, inquiring into their experience and capabilities in this arena. Seek carriers with experience within your industry and references or case studies that demonstrate this expertise.
6. Industry experience and reputation
A provider with extensive industry-related knowledge and reputation may provide invaluable assistance helping ensure an effortless shipping experience.
As you evaluate a shipping provider’s industry experience, take note of their length of business and whether or not they have worked with companies similar to yours in the past. A carrier familiar with your industry will likely possess better knowledge regarding its specific needs and challenges and be better equipped for any issues that might arise during transport.
As part of your initial inquiry to potential carriers, ask about their industry experience and any success stories they can share. A carrier who boasts substantial success within your field and positive customer testimonials can offer additional peace of mind as they help ensure an excellent shipping experience for you and your company.
7. Customer service
An exceptional carrier offers customers outstanding customer service that allows them to address issues or concerns during the shipping process, creating positive experiences and upholding brand integrity for all their customers.
As part of your evaluation of shipping provider customer service, ensure they offer multiple channels for support: phone callback service, emailing, or live chat are effective ways of quickly reaching out if any problems arise and receiving help if assistance needs to arise quickly.
Receptivity and communication abilities are also critical in this aspect. A trusted shipper should respond swiftly and provide clear updates regarding its status. Also, consider their reputation in terms of customer service by reading reviews or gathering feedback from other businesses or customers who have used their service.
As our planet becomes more environmentally aware, sustainability has become integral to everyday business practices and consumer choices. When selecting a freight carrier for shipping operations, consider their sustainability practices so your operations meet up with environmental goals and values that matter to you.
As part of your evaluation of shipping providers’ sustainability practices, search for carriers who prioritize energy-efficient transport methods and alternative fuels while engaging in waste reduction initiatives. A few carriers may even hold sustainability certifications or participate in sustainability programs as evidence that they’re making efforts to lower their environmental impact.
Safety should always come first when shipping products, so selecting a provider who prioritizes it and has an outstanding safety record is of utmost importance. Look out for carriers who hold certifications or take part in programs to monitor compliance with regulatory mandates for safety practices and make your selection.
Assuring the safety of your products also requires you to consult potential carriers about their policies and procedures regarding safety issues such as driver qualification training, equipment maintenance needs, and cargo handling procedures.
In general, an ethical carrier that prioritizes safe transport could put an additional layer of protection around them and your products during transportation and ensure their safe transit is prioritized over profit or shortcuts on the cost.
10. Insurance coverage
Insurance coverage is yet another crucial factor since shipping products is costly and risky; adequate protection through adequate coverage in case of loss, damage, or theft provides invaluable peace of mind.
To select an insurance-covered shipping provider, you must inquire about the type and extent of their coverage and any exclusions or limitations. Aim for carriers offering comprehensive policies covering various forms of shipments and modes of transport as well as limits that match the value of your shipment.
As with high-value or specialty items like hazardous or fragile materials, it’s also wise to discuss any specific insurance requirements you have with any potential carriers. Also, when researching possible carriers, examine their reputation regarding this coverage aspect.
Your business’ success hinges on finding an efficient shipping provider who meets its specific requirements at a price you can afford. By carefully considering all of the above factors, you can confidently select an individual freight carrier who meets all your specific needs.
If you’re in the process of selecting a commercial freight carrier and are looking for a partner that can meet all of your shipping needs, we invite you to consider All Modes Transport. With years of experience in the transportation industry and an expansive shipping range paired with cutting-edge technology to fulfill tracking, safety, and sustainability commitments as well as exceed client expectations at every turn, All Modes Transport stands ready.
Frequently asked questions
Can I negotiate shipping rates with the carriers?
Yes, negotiating shipping rates is definitely possible for businesses with higher-volume shipping needs. Contact potential carriers to explore various pricing options and inquire whether any offer discounts or special rates that fit with what your business requires.
Should I opt for an asset-based or non-asset-based carrier?
Consider factors like cost, delivery range, and flexibility when choosing between asset-based or non-asset-based carriers. An asset-based carrier owns their own trucks and equipment, while non-asset carriers partner with other shipping services to offer shipping services.
Are freight carriers capable of providing real-time tracking for my shipments?
Many freight carriers provide real-time tracking capabilities that enable you to monitor the status of your shipments at every step in their delivery. Look for carriers that utilize advanced tracking technology and offer regular updates about how your packages are progressing.